A smile never increases in price or decreases in value.
Someone hacked my Yahoo email account. If you were listed in my address book, you probably received the following email today:
Am sorry for not telling you am going to Madrid, I’m writing this with tears in my eyes,I came down here to Madrid, Spain for a short vacation and i was mugged at gun point last night at the park of the hotel where I lodged all cash, credit card and cell were stolen off me
I’ve been to the US embassy and the Police here but they’re not helping issues at all, My flight leaves in next few hours from now and am having problems settling the hotel bills.
The hotel manager won’t let me leave until I settle the hotel bills now am freaked out.
First of all, I’m not now and never have been in Spain. Nor do I need you to send me any money.
The dummy included my wife in the hoax he spammed everyone with, so I found out pretty quickly. About that time @KristenLambTX called and told me to change my password. I had been unsure what I needed to do, so I was very glad she called.
It took awhile to get through Yahoo’s red tape to get the password changed, and when I did, I discovered I no longer had an address book. It was lost in the process of change. No telling how long it will take me to regather all my contacts and get them all put back into my address book.
This seems to be rampant, as I got a similar letter from another writer earlier in the week, so chances are pretty good it could happen to you, too. Some advice on what to do:
1. Never respond to such an outlandish email. This is not how your friends would go about asking if they really did need help.
2. Change your password now to something complicated. Mine had six letters, one of which was capitalized, plus one symbol and one number, but they got through that.
3. Copy your contacts & email addresses into a Word file so you can reconstruct your address book if it does happen.
I don’t understand people who hack accounts like this. Do they actually get any money from anyone who receives such an email? Do they just do it to prove to themselves they are smart enough to do it? I don’t know. It makes no sense to me.
I truly hope this never happens to you. Meanwhile, if you’re a subscriber or regular reader of this blog, or if we have ever corresponded by email, please send me an email today so I can get you back into my contact list.
David N. Walker is a Christian father and grandfather, a grounded pilot and a near-scratch golfer who had to give up the game because of shoulder problems. A graduate of Duke University, he spent 42 years as a health insurance agent. Most of that career was spent in Texas, but for a few years he traveled many other states. He started writing about 20 years ago, and has six unpublished novels to use as primers on how NOT to write fiction. Since his retirement from insurance a few years ago, he has devoted his time to helping Kristen Lamb start Warrior Writers’ Boot Camp and trying to learn to write a successful novel himself.